It’s time for Californians to act responsibly on water.

During the drought, we came together to serve.

Now we must come together to waste as much water as possible.

Why? For the poor.

Water agencies around the state are preparing to increase their rates even higher. Why? Californians have cut back on water use, and since these agencies sell water, that leaves them with less revenue. Their response is higher rates.

But such rates will punish the poor in a state where sluggish entrepreneurialism, lagging education gains and high housing prices have made the poverty rate the nation’s highest.

The solution is obvious. If we all pull together and use more water, the agencies will have more revenue, and it should be easier to block those rates.

This would also be fair. The drought saw big increases in water rates even as people used less—a key example of the “more for less” dynamic that is all too prevalent in California.

Now, there are probably pointy-headed people out there who might suggest that the entire structure of rates be reformed, so that we the people don’t have to turn on the water spigot to protect the less well-off from having to turn on their cash spigots. Some might suggest that incentives should change so that those who use less water should get bigger discounts on their water bills.

And those ideas might make sense among utopians. But the hard-headed realists running our state will certainly remind us that such changes are impossible, and run afoul of constitutional rules and judicial precedent.

So that leaves it up to us to turn on our water.

Do you think I could grow rice in my front yard?